Developer & operator statements

November 24, 2021

European experts comment on the synergy between shopping centers and food anchors, their developments and benefits.
Yuri Usharov
Commercial Director of ADG group
WHAT ECONOMIC BENEFITS DOES A SHOPPING CENTER GAIN FROM A TENANT MIX WITH A STRONG FOOD ANCHOR?

Currently, there is a strong trend in the market to switch to smaller formats and to become more local-centric. For example, in Moscow, we are developing the 'Mesto vstrechi' (Meeting Place) network of neighborhood centers that mix both leisure opportunities and retail within walking distance from home. Our location challenges us to fulfill all the essential needs of our audience–and food is obviously one of them. Therefore, having a high-quality food anchor is one of the keys to success when it comes to tenant mix.

WHAT, IN RETURN, DO SUPERMARKET CHAINS GAIN FROM THEIR PRESENCE IN SHOPPING CENTERS, COMPARED TO STAND-ALONE LOCATIONS?

Stand-alone locations are usually limited to one function. However, nowadays people tend to value their time more than ever. That is why we are seeing a rise in multifunctional premises that offer a wide range of leisure opportunities, retail, and F&B. Food retailers benefit from that in terms of footfall and customer loyalty.

At the same time, it is a great opportunity to efficiently optimize the range of items through analysis of the local audience–the limited number of loyal customers and the strong spirit of partnership are the beneficial factors. As an example, I would like to use our neighborhood centers, where we encourage tenants to exchange data in order to organize exciting activities and special offers.

CAN YOU GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF A "SHOPPING CENTER – FOOD ANCHOR" PARTNERSHIP WITH PARTICULARLY HIGH SYNERGETIC COACTION?

We have just signed a contract with X5 Group, the food retail leader in Russia. Perekrestok shops will be located at two neighborhood centers that are scheduled to open before the end of this year, and even more are being planned for our future openings. Together, we have studied everything about the market landscape in given districts, run surveys among local residents, and found the best solutions to meet all needs and expectations.

WHERE CAN WE SEE CONCRETE EXAMPLES OF INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS FOR THE COOPERATION OF SHOPPING CENTERS AND FOOD ANCHORS IN THE CONTEXT OF DIGITALIZATION AND SUSTAINABILITY?

We, as well as our partners, understand the importance of digital tools, which is why we have a mobile app via which we integrate personalized special offers available from all of our partners and share the program of activities at our neighborhood centers. Moreover, we are always happy to integrate sustainable initiatives together, for example: the separate recycling of bottle caps in conjunction with discounts for visitors.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN PROBLEM AREAS THAT COULD AGGRAVATE THE CONSTRUCTIVE COOPERATION BETWEEN SHOPPING CENTERS AND FOOD ANCHORS?

Due to the fact that the world is still going through the pandemic, I believe one of the biggest challenges for both shopping centers and food retailers is the risk of another full lockdown, as it will raise problems, such as a drop in offline traffic, rental rate issues, and the need for online tools. Nevertheless, I believe that sincere and open dialogue, as well as the rollout and continuous improvement of digital tools together with a strong and well-thought-out marketing strategy, can help us overcome even the most difficult times with minimal damage to both parties.
Read the full article at ACROSS Magazine, November 2021
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